Even though many people choose to lead a gluten-free diet because they consider it healthier, for people with celiac disease, this type of diet is compulsory. Unfortunately, around 3 million Americans are diagnosed with celiac disease, a type of autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten consumption.
What is gluten, you are probably wondering? This is a protein present in rye, wheat, barley, and other grains. It is a substance which provides dough’s elasticity and makes bread chewy. Unfortunately, when a person with celiac disease eats gluten, the body reacts excessively and damages the villi along the small intestine walls. When these villi are harmed, the small intestine is prevented from proper absorption of nutrients from food.
Consequently, this can lead to malnourishment and reduction in bone density, miscarriages, and infertility, as well as some types of cancer, as explained on Web Md. In order to be more aware about this serious health problem, it is important to consult our physician as soon as we notice the indicating symptoms.
Continue reading the article to learn more details about the major symptoms of celiac disease.
Recognizing Celiac Disease: 7 Major Symptoms
Since this condition causes inflammation in the digestive tract, it may trigger bloating. This symptom usually goes away as the individual removes gluten from their diet. However, gluten may also cause digestive problems such as bloating in people who do not have this illness.
A loose and watery stool is not uncommon in people with untreated celiac disease. Once gluten is removed from the diet, diarrhea reduces and then it completely goes away, of course, if the underlying cause is gluten intolerance.
In some people, celiac can cause diarrhea and in others, it may trigger constipation. Because of the damage done onto the proper absorption of nutrients and cause the intestinal villi to absorb moisture from stool instead. Consequently, this hardens the stool and makes it difficult to pass.
Excessive passing of gas is a major symptom in people with celiac. But, this is a common symptom of numerous other health issues, including IBS, constipation, indigestion, etc. Therefore, you need to consult your physician for the proper tests and final diagnosis.
- Itchy rash
Celiac disease is known to trigger dermatitis herpetiformis, a type of blistering and itchy skin rash that usually develops on the knees, buttocks, and elbows. In some individuals, the skin rash may happen without the other digestive issues common for celiac.
- Loss of weight
A quick loss of weight and an inability to maintain healthy weight is often seen in people with celiac. The loss of weight happens because of the impaired nutrient absorption which may consequently lead to malnutrition and loss of weight.
In addition to physical symptoms, celiac is also manifested by psychological signs like depression. According to a study analysis, depression was stronger and more common people with celiac disease than in the general population. Keeping up a gluten-free diet permanently is known to decrease the depressive symptoms.